Spicy Peanut Eggplant Stew

I have been craving this peanut eggplant dish that i think my Mom has made a long time ago when i was living at home. So I searched online for the recipe that sounded similar to what i craved, but couldnt find it. I tried calling my mom at this point but then after talking to her she had no idea what dish i was talking about!

But i did find another recipe that sounded yummy so i thought i’d try it anyway. The stew turned out really yummy and different from anything i’ve made before. The only thing i didnt like about it was i think i put too much lemon juice… so i’ve decreased it in the recipe below.

Eggplant Peanut Stew

Ingredients

1/2 lb of chicken breasts, diced
1 large Eggplant, peeled, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes
1 tsp salt
1/2 shallots, peeled and sliced very thin
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 hot chili, seeded and minced
1” cube of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground tumeric
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 16 oz. can  diced tomatoes w/ juice
3 cups water or light veggie broth
1/2 cup creamy or chunky natural peanut butter
6 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, lightly packed
chopped roasted peanuts and cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions
In a large bowl or colander toss eggplant cubes with salt. Allow to sit of 30 minutes to soften, then gently rinse eggplant chunks with cold running water. Drain and set aside.

In a large stock pot heat 2 T oil over medium high heat. Add shallots and fry, occasionally stirring, for about 20 minutes until very soft, browned and slightly caramelized. Scoop shallots out of pot and set aside.

Add oil and fry chicken breasts until pink is gone. Remove from pan.

Add 1 T of oil to pot and add eggplant, stirring to coat with oil. Stir and cook eggplant for 12-15 minutes until slightly tender. Remove eggplant from heat and set aside (I toss it in the same bowl with the shallots and chicken).

Add remaining 1 T of oil to the pot again, then add ginger and chile and fry for 30 seconds. Add ground cumin, coriander, tumeric and fry for another 30 second then add onion. Stir and fry till onion is just slightly soft and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add tomato paste, stir and fry mixture for 1 minute.

Pour diced tomatoes, water or broth, eggplant, string beans, chicken and shallots into pot with frying onion/spice mixture. Stir to combined and raise heat to medium high. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat.

In a separate bowl stir peanut butter to combine any separated oils. Pour a ladleful of hot soup onto peanut butter. Stir peanut butter with soup till creamy and peanut butter is completely emulsified. Scrape peanut butter mixture into rest of simmering soup, stirring to combine.

Simmer soup on medium-low heat, covered, for 35-45 minutes or until eggplant is very tender. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Salt to taste after soup has cooled for at least half an hour. True to soup form, the taste improves when heated up the next day.

On this day..


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